What Are the Most Common Types of Home Plumbing Pipes?

What Are the Most Common Types of Home Plumbing Pipes?

You understand that water reaches your home through the plumbing. But do you know the different types of pipes used in the process?

There are five types of plumbing pipes that are the most common in homes. Whether you want to replace old plumbing or install new pipes during a renovation, continue reading to learn more about each one.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanized steel is a sheet of metal treated with zinc to create a corrosion-resistant material. However, one downside of these pipes is the negative effects of hard water on plumbing. As years pass, the zinc coating will wear down and make it susceptible to rust. The limescale can build up in these areas to corrode the pipes and cause leaks.

You’ll find galvanized steel in older homes because it’s less popular in modern homes. Now, many homeowners make the switch to copper pipes as an alternative.

Copper Pipes

When galvanized steel pipes became unfavorable, copper pipes became a household plumbing staple! They can withstand immense water pressure and varying temperatures. Additionally, they have an incredibly long life span—upward of 50 years.

Homes with hard water can have difficulty with the plumbing and quality of water. Since copper pipes are corrosion resistant, they’re an incredible material to prevent various health risks.


PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of white plastic piping frequently used as the home’s main water supply source. Nonetheless, one negative feature is that it cannot withstand hot water. The plastic will start to melt and warp if hot water passes through.

Despite that concern, PVC is a desirable plumbing material in homes. Metal pipes are common, but PVC is especially resistant to rust and leaks. It will rarely succumb to limescale buildup or cracks in the pipes due to its durability.

CPVC Pipes

Instead of warping under high temperatures, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, or CPVC pipes, have the component PVC pipes are missing! These pipes can withstand incredibly high water temperatures. Although they’re a little more expensive than PVC pipes, they’re a great resource for indoor plumbing purposes.

PEX Pipes

Another common type of home plumbing pipe is a PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, pipe. It outranks all materials listed above in popularity in homes. PEX is vastly durable to withstand high water pressure and corrosion.

A unique feature of PEX pipes is that they are color-coded in red and blue. Red signals the hot water supply and blue signals cold water. Whenever repairs occur, the pipes quickly communicate their purpose to plumbers.

Now you know about the great characteristics of each of these plumbing materials! Whether it’s a replacement or a new plumbing system throughout the house, you’re sure to find exactly what you need!